The State of Play of Social Economy Development in non-EU Countries

The present study provides an analysis of the situation of the social economy sector in seven non-EU countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine, countries belonging to Western Balkans and Eastern Neighbourhood regions. The specific objectives aimed at understanding and assessing contributing factors, the strategic, institutional and legal context of the social economy sector in the selected non-EU countries, to determine its strengths and weaknesses, as well as assessing its role within society, including in time of crisis as COVID19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The methodological approach used in the study combines primary and secondary data collected through quantitative and qualitative research methods, including desk research, semi-structured questionnaire, secondary data analysis and in-depth expert interviews. The results indicate incremental progresses in terms of social economy sector political and legal recognition, and visibility and conceptual understanding of the social economy specificity and role within the society.



Claudia Petrescu, Senior Researcher, Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romanian Academy

Mihaela Lambru, Professor, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania

Irina Opincaru, PhD Candidate, Doctoral School of Sociology, University of Bucharest, Romania

Anastasia Costantini, Senior expert Social Economy and Twin Transition, Diesis Network


EASPD. (2022) The State of Play of Social Economy Development in non-EU Countries. Brussels.


Brussels, December 2022